CEO of Al Jazeera America Ousted
This week has been tough for Al Jazeera America, an American basic cable and satellite news television channel. Firstly, AJAM was sued for $15 million wrongful termination lawsuit by a previous employee. The previous employee claimed that the network was discriminating against women and others.
“Al Jazeera America does not tolerate any discriminatory conduct and we take great pride in the diversity of our organization and its leadership. The recent attacks on us as being anti-Semitic, sexist and anti-American are absurd”, CEO Ehab Al Shihabi had said.
On Monday, three top executives stepped down. By Wednesday, Mr. Al Shihabi was ousted from his position without a warning. He was replaced by Al Anstey, previously managing director for Al Jazeera English, based in London. Anstey said he is pleased to come back to the US to continue to uphold the highest standards of organizational excellence at the channel with a complete promise to the very best in journalism and storytelling.
Back in 2013, Al Jazeera America was launched after Qatar’s financial backers acquired Mr. Gore’s network for $500 million.
The new network appointed about 1,000 new employees and also attracted executive talent from CNN, ABC and CBS. As AJAM comes near to its two-year anniversary, the network’s nightly audience averaged about 30,000 viewers. In comparison, Fox News typically draws around 2 million on an average night.
After an announcement of Anstey's appointment, Al Shihabi said that he is going to remain at the channel as chief operating officer. An employee said that time of Al Shihabi as COO would be short-lived and shortly he will leave the company. An AJAM spokesperson has not said anything related to this.